Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Full Story: PM's questions

The full PM's questions session: From Democracy Live

By Emma Griffiths

1303 Well, that's it from us for this week, join us again same time, same place for next week's session. But if you want to stick with events in the Commons, we'll keep running the live stream at the top of this page for Alistair Darling's defence of bank loans and for the government's response to the Calman Commission's findings on the powers of the Scottish Parliament. They are expected to announce a White Paper on the issue. The full session of PMQs will be available there mid-afternoon.

1259 Bianca Jagger says Germany has created 280,000 jobs in renewable energy - what is Britain doing? She's also not happy about the government's plans to back the building of new nuclear power stations. Ken Clarke says it is important that the government "deliver" on climate change plans - not defer to far-off targets - he says a combination of renewables and nuclear is needed. Jacqui Smith says the government's climate change bill is "world leading" and has short-term climate budgets as long as long-term targets. They have also been supporting individual households to become greener, she says.

1253 Back in the Daily Politics studio, campaigner Bianca Jagger is asking what the government is doing about climate change - which she says is partly to blame for the floods in Cumbria.

1253 Over in the Commons the chancellor is defending the decision to keep £61.5bn worth of loans - part of the bank bailout - secret a year ago - he tells MPs the Bank of England asked it not be disclosed in order to maintain confidence in the system.

1248 Jacqui Smith says when she was home secretary the government was always being accused of being too hard in the way it was dealing with terrorism. Apparently Gordon Brown said Hizb ut-Tahrir could be banned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 at prime minister's questions on 3 July 2007 - his first as PM.

1246 Ken Clarke says it is possible a "very, very serious misuse of public money has taken place". A school thought to have been referred to has denied links to the group, host Andrew Neil stresses again.

1243 Jacqui Smith is getting quizzed on Daily Politics what the government has funded - she is no longer home secretary and points out she doesn't know all the details.

e-mail sent in by reader
Is that really all we will hear on the bank charges case? This affects hundreds of thousands of people and I thought some disapproval may have been expressed with the Supreme Court judgement.
Graham, Leeds

1240 Ken Clarke says any PM would be "absolutely furious" that no-one had briefed him before the session started. Muslim schools should get public money, but not those connected to groups Tony Blair had said should be proscribed, he said.

Nick Robinson
BBC political editor Nick Robinson says he was struck by Schools Secretary Ed Balls during the exchanges - he was trying to help the PM out so he must have known about the issue, he says. It was odd the PM had not been briefed on it, he says

1238 Ms Smith says they had not proscribed Hizb ut-Tahrir because the evidence was not there to do so. "If Hizb ut-Tahrir have received public money, I don't think they should have done". One of the schools has denied connections to the group, the show's host Andrew Neil says.

The Daily Politics analysis of PMQs

1237 In the BBC studio former home secretary Jacqui Smith is asked about Hizb ut-Tahrir - she says it would not be acceptable for a member to be a headmaster, but she doesn't know if that was true. "I think it would be very difficult for that organisation to receive public money," she said. The allegation made by David Cameron in the Commons was that two schools have links to the group.

1236 I'll continue to report the reaction to PMQs on Daily Politics now but you can hear Alistair Darling making his Treasury statement in the Commons if you stay tuned to the live stream at the top of the page.

1233 The session ends with another Labour MP's question, this time about flexible working. Again the PM uses the opportunity to have a dig at the Tories' inheritance tax proposals. And with that, Mr Brown sits down.

1233 A question about the Act of Succession and Catholics not being able to succeed to the throne - Mr Brown agrees it is "outdated"

1232 Labour MP Tony Lloyd asks whether the government would ever allow the police to be "politicised" - Mr Brown says police chiefs alone should be responsible for running their forces and the Tories should withdraw their pledge to introduce directly elected police commissioners - this was criticised by Acpo head Sir Hugh Orde last week.

1231 A Tory MP asks for clarity on Afghanistan - he suggests the PM is sending out "mixed signals" on troop withdrawal. Mr Brown says many terrorist plots in Britain originate in Afghanistan's border regions. He says he was right to ask for assurances on corruption from President Karzai and action had been taken. He says he believes next week the US and Nato will "come together in a strategy" that means they will have "the forces that are necessary".

1227 Labour MP Alan Whitehead asks about the Copenhagen climate change summit - Mr Brown says all parties want the summit to be successful and he will try to build a consensus about financing tackling climate change for poorer countries. Agreement is "absolutely essential" he says.

1225 Carlisle MP Eric Martlew thanks the PM for his "words of comfort" on the flooding - his own Carlisle constituency suffered the same a few years ago. He asks for assurances that the government will cover the bills because local people cannot.

1225 The Hizb ut-Tahrir issue crops up again - Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda says advice must be taken from police chiefs, rather than opposition leaders, on this sort of issue. Mr Brown responds that the government is responding to terrorism then gets shouted down by Tory MPs as he brings up a not-entirely-relevant favourite Labour line of attack - Conservative proposals on inheritance tax. Shadow chancellor George Osborne laughs.

e-mail sent in by reader
Where on earth was Cameron going with the Islamic schools questions? With all the issues around the economy, flooding and an up-coming election is that really a central issue for PMQs?
Michael, Belfast

1223 Lib Dem MP Alan Reid asks about nuclear waste and fears over "secret sites" for the dismantling nuclear submarine waste - Mr Brown says it is a long-running argument and the MOD is talking to local MPs in the areas where there are potential sites. "This is not happening behind closed doors," he says.

1221 A bizarre question from Tory MP Sir Patrick Cormack seems to surprise other MPs: "When did the prime minister realise he was infallible?" Mr Brown says he deals with issues as they arise and says he has done so better than the Tories could.

1220 A Labour MP asks about the bank charges court case - Mr Brown says people have "anxieties" about bank charges and "it is right" the government looks at bank charges - those banks owned by the government have reviewed their charges, he says. New legislation will strengthen the rights of customers, he says

1218 Nick Clegg says the government has told the committee there are nine different areas where information might be withheld at different departments' request - he suggests the inquiry "is being suffocated on day one" by the government's "culture of secrecy". Mr Brown says the grounds for not publishing material were "national security or international relations". He said the chairman was happy with the way he's been asked to conduct the inquiry.

Nick Clegg
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg also echoes tributes to those killed this week. He asks about the Iraq inquiry and asks Mr Brown to confirm the full report and all information available to the inquiry would be published "with the sole exception" of anything that might damage national security. Mr Brown says the chairman will decide how the final report is brought to the public.

1216 Labour MP Andrew Dismore asks a question about policing tactics - Mr Brown says where mistakes are made, police have to answer for them - a reference to the death of a man at the G20 in London.

1215 Mr Brown says the government is doing everything possible to deal with the terrorist threat.

1214 Mr Cameron says the group calls for Jewish people to be killed. He says the government's money was "funding extremists" - the shouts from MPs is deafening as Mr Cameron says the PM needs to "get a grip on this issue". Mr Brown says to ban an organisation they need proper evidence against them and Mr Cameron might come to regret his remarks.

1212 Mr Brown says everything the Tory leader said "will be investigated in great detail" - there are shouts from the Tory benches. The PM goes on to say most Muslims are part of the "law abiding majority of our country". He also says Hizb ut-Tahrir has been looked at but is not a banned organisation.

1211 Mr Cameron suggests schools with links to the groups have been given public money - Mr Brown says he will look at the claims "very very carefully". The Tory leader, to shouts from Labour MPs, says he finds it hard to believe Mr Brown doesn't know about it as his party have asked numerous questions about the issue. The Speaker tells backbenchers to calm down.

1209 The PM says the government is doing "everything in its power" to get people back to their homes quickly. Mr Cameron says he is "very grateful" for the answers. He then goes on to ask why the "extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir" has not been banned and asks if it has received any public money - the PM says he's not aware of it. Mr Cameron says he has the evidence.

1208 Mr Cameron asks that "everything that can be done will be done". There's less of the usual rough and tumble of PMQs in the wake of the widespread damage done in Cumbria.

1206 Consensus between the party leaders on dealing with the flood victims. Mr Brown says he hopes a temporary bridge can be in place "fairly quickly" but he is awaiting reports from engineers. Repair costs will be met by the government, he says.

David Cameron
David Cameron echoes Mr Brown's tributes and says there has been an "extraordinary effort" by emergency services in dealing with the floods. He asks about the state of the bridges in the area, following several collapses. How quickly can a temporary bridge be put up, he asks.

Gordon Brown
The PM also pays tribute to the work of the emergency services during the floods. The first question is from Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods who asks for assurances help will be made available for flood victims. Mr Brown says it has been a "terrible" time for people in the area and says support will continue.

1202 Gordon Brown is on his feet and pays tributes to a soldier killed in Afghanistan and a PC who died during the floods in Cumbria.

Nick Robinson
BBC political editor Nick Robinson says David Cameron might tease Gordon Brown about a suggestion that Lord Mandelson wanted the EU High Representative job - which eventually went to Baroness Ashton. He says Lord Mandelson has made clear he feels she is not big enough for the job.

1200 The Commons is filling up - Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy is addressing MPs ahead of Gordon Brown. The noise levels are rising and Labour's Rosemary McKenna is having to raise her voice to ask her question.

1159 Another political story today is about the Labour government's response to the Calman Commission on devolution. In Scotland the SNP are in power and are waiting to see what they say. It is expected to mean more tax-raising powers for Scotland. Ken Clarke says the Tories are "reasonably sympathetic" towards the Calman findings, including the tax measures. Jacqui Smith says the SNP did not bother to engage in the government process because they were "wedded" to increasing devolution. For the SNP Mike Russell says they did "engage with Calman" but the commission had not been "prepared to consider independence".

Jo Coburn
1155 From BBC political correspondent Jo Coburn: Should the Bank of England's secret loans to RBS and HBOS been kept a secret for so long? The Governor Mervyn King said it was vital for the stability of the banking system but the Liberal Democrats have called it a cover-up. Leader Nick Clegg is bound to question the Prime Minister on why the public was kept in the dark. The Conservatives response on this has been more low-key. David Cameron may focus on Afghanistan and ask Gordon Brown about which other coalition countries are making more troops available for the mission there or question the Prime Minister on broader issues to do with the economy.

Ken Clarke
Ken Clarke says it's a "long and complicated judgement" which requires some care - although there are undoubtedly some individual cases of people being unfairly treated. But he says there is the question of where banks would get the money to repay charges.

1143 And there's another bank story today - they've won their appeal to stop the Office of Fair Trading investigating the fairness of overdraft charges - seemingly a nail in the coffin for customers who had hoped for a refund. Jacqui Smith says it is "disappointing" and banks should be thinking about being fair to their customers.

1140 As expected - some discussion in the Daily Politics studio about the secret loans - Jacqui Smith, who was in Cabinet at the time, says she did not know about them.

1139 Ken Clarke has just explained his absence on the Daily Politics the other week - which coincided with his party leader David Cameron confirming there would not be a referendum, under a Tory government, on the Lisbon Treaty. The famously Euro-friendly Tory frontbencher told the programme he was not the "best person to explain that to worried Conservatives".

1136 What might crop up this week? Well, Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Vince Cable has tabled an urgent question about so called "secret bank loans" to RBS and HBOS last autumn - that has been denied by the Speaker but the chancellor is now due to make a Treasury statement at 1230 GMT, which will be followed by responses from Mr Cable and shadow chancellor George Osborne.

1132 Hello and welcome to our live coverage of prime minister's questions. As usual we'll be bringing you all the action from the Commons from 1200 GMT, ahead of that we'll get the insider's view from this week's guests on BBC 2's Daily Politics - former home secretary Jacqui Smith and shadow business secretary Ken Clarke. My colleague Jo Coburn will also be providing some analysis.

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